It’s been announced that two award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries looking at HIV and AIDS activism will be released on DVD in the UK in March 2014. Following their cinema releases, Fire In The Blood will come out on 24th March, while How To Survive A Plague is released on 31st March, ahead of the BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival, which runs 20th-30th March 2014.
Fire In The Blood is the critically-acclaimed documentary about medicine, monopoly and malice that tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996. The film investigates how this caused over ten million unnecessary deaths and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.
The film tells its remarkable story through the eyes of AIDS patients, front-line clinicians, radical health professionals, pharmaceutical company executives and global figures including Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz.
The film screened at Sundance Film Festival (2013 Grand Jury Prize nominee – World Cinema Documentary) and its message is clear: despite dramatic past victories, the fight for access to life-saving medicine is almost certainly just beginning. It won the 2013 DOXA Feature Documentary Award, 2013 Justice Matters Award at the 27th Washington DC International Film Festival, the inaugural Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Prize for Political Film, and Best Debut Film of a Director at the Mumbai International Film Festival.
How To Survive A Plague is the Best Documentary Oscar-nominated story of two coalitions – ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group) – and how their activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made, largely LGBT activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time.
With access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and 1990s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.